|Report courtesy of Giana Roberge of Saturn Cycling|
April 13, 2003
The final stage of the four day Sea Otter Classic wrapped up yesterday in epic conditions as the wind swept the rain off the mountains and across Carmel Valley. There were 99.5 hilly miles facing the remaining very small field of women.
It began with Saturn's Ina Teutenberg and T-Mobile's Dotsie Cowden escaping on the first 3.2 mile climb. The two some stayed away working together into the stiff head and cross winds. Behind, race leader Genevieve Jeanson's Rona team worked diligently to keep the gap at one minute. Finally, two were brought back to the bunch after a series of attacks, and a second duo headed up the road. This time it was Dede Barry and Amy Moore, again from T-Mobile and Saturn making the Rona Team soldier away at the front. Again they were able to respond, dialing in their chase to bring Jeanson to the fore of the race midway up the middle of the 2.5 mile climb. From there she did what she does best, shattering the field and bringing with her only three others. As the four crested the hill, it was Saturn's Lyne Bessette and Manon Jutras with Amber Neben, keen on getting to the finishing banner on the raceway. Chasing just seconds off the back was T-Mobile's Kimberly Bruckner.
As the four streamed into the final kilometer, Jutras began her leadout for Bessette to take the victory. However, her powerful punch opened a gap, and with Bessette's encouragement in her ear she put every last effort into a final push, crossing the finish for her second big win in Saturn colors. Winning the three up sprint was Bessette for second, and some crucial time bonuses. Jeanson was third, with Neben and Bruckner rounding out the top five. Saturn's impressive ride did not touch Jeanson's insurmountable lead, however, the duo ended up second and third in the overall, and second and third in the point's competition.
Stage 4 Results
1. Manon Jutras (Saturn) 4:29:50
2. Lyne Bessette (Saturn) +:02
3. Genevieve Jeanson (Rona-Esker) s.t.
4. Amber Neben (Team T-Mobile) s.t.
5. Dede Barry (Team T-Mobile) +:40
Overall GC after Stage 4
1. Genevieve Jeanson (Rona-Esker)
2. Lyne Bessette (Saturn) +1:37
3. Manon Jutras (Saturn) +2:02
4. Amber Neben (Team T-Mobile) +2:10
5. Kimberly Bruckner (Team T-Mobile) +2:14
Full results can be found here at the official Sea Otter website.